by Max Gendelman
Paperback, 226 pages
A Tale of Two Soldiers is a memoir about the unlikely friendship an American Jewish G.I. and trained sniper for the US Army, formed with a German Luftwaffe pilot during WWII.
On Dec. 18, 1944, twenty-one-year-old Max Gendelman was captured in the Battle of the Bulge, one of only a handful in his company to survive. Starving and dazed, his dog tags blown off, he was marched through German villages and eventually arrived at a farm the Reich had commandeered from a German family.
The family's grandson, Karl Kirschner, a lieutenant in the Luftwaffe conscripted against his will, was hiding out in one of the barns. To Max's astonishment one day Karl spoke to him through the fence; they discovered a shared passion for chess, and began to secretly meet to play the game.
As they got to know each other, they recognized what they needed to do; they formed a pact, a plan to escape together. This was the start of a friendship that would endure for more than six decades.
About the Author:
Max Gendelman was an American Jewish G.I and trained sniper for the US Army. He received the Purple Heart and was named by the French Republic “Chevalier of The Legion Of Honor.” After his escape from a German prison camp, Gendelman returned to Wisconsin, married, started a family, and a successful business. One of his proudest moments was, in 1952, helping his wartime friend Karl Kirschner to come to the United States. Gendelman died in June of 2012, a month after completing The Tale of Two Soldiers. He was buried with military honors.